Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) poses a significant problem for millions of Americans.
Many patients who suffer from this condition don’t realize it, as the repeated breathing interruptions that characterize this disorder only occur during sleep. Yet if left untreated, sleep apnea can be life-threatening.
Do any of the following signs sound familiar to you? If so, pay a quick visit to a local oral surgeon for a professional sleep apnea evaluation.
No. 1: You’re a Loud, Chronic Snorer
Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? People with OSA often snore — that’s one of the most common signs of the condition.
No. 2: You Gasp or Choke During Sleep
You might not be aware of the repeated pauses in breathing caused by OSA, but the gasping, choking or snorting sounds that follow are hard to miss. These noises are the result of frantically trying to draw in a breath after a lack of oxygen.
No. 3: You Wake Often to Use the Restroom
While frequent nighttime urination can often be attributed to aging, it can also be a sign of OSA. The condition can trigger a feeling of fullness in the bladder, signaling the brain that it’s time to answer nature’s call.
No. 4: You Wake Up with a Headache
The frequent breathing pauses of OSA decrease the level of oxygen in the brain. In many patients, this results in morning headaches. As the condition becomes more severe, the headaches can last longer and occur more frequently.
No. 5: You’re Tired All Day
Excessive daytime sleepiness is often considered the hallmark symptom of OSA. Anyone who spends at least seven hours in bed every night but still feels tired during the day could have sleep apnea.
No. 6: You’re Moody or Irritable
Mood changes can’t always be linked to OSA, but the lack of restful sleep often leads to depression, irritability and anxiety. Some patients also complain of memory problems or have trouble concentrating.
No. 7: You Have High Blood Pressure
Untreated sleep apnea can create surges of adrenaline that cause blood pressure spikes at night. Eventually, the effect can spread into the daytime hours. Not everyone with high blood pressure has OSA, but this symptom is worth consideration.
No. 8: You’re Overweight
Could you stand to lose more than a few pounds? Many patients who are diagnosed with OSA are overweight. In fact, being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing this chronic sleep disorder.
No. 9: You Suffer from Insomnia
Research shows that insomnia and sleep apnea often go hand in hand. Frequently waking with elevated adrenaline levels can make it more difficult to go back to sleep, and many patients suffer from both sleep disorders.
Do you suspect you may have OSA? The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, can evaluate your symptoms, explain your options and help you get the treatment you need.
With three convenient northern Utah offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — making an appointment with the experienced oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah couldn’t be easier. Contact us today to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.